Volunteers perform homeless head-count

WILMINGTON -- Last night a group of volunteers braved the cold to assist those who are without homes. The group of volunteers was out counting the number of homeless people here in the Cape Fear area. This is something that volunteers do every year in an effort to find out how many homeless people in our area need help. Volunteers gathered at Thalian Hall at eight o'clock Wednesday night. They broke up into teams and went out into various camps and areas where they know homeless people live. They then asked them questions, like how long they've been homeless, How much money they have, and why they're homeless? The data gathered will be used to help get grant money for programs to help the homeless people in our area. While the number has been steady the last few years, Wilmington continues to draw-in the homeless. UNCW professor Elizabeth Hines said, "Wilmington is a destination for homeless people in all seasons, especially in the winter because of the climate, because there are a lot of low-pay service jobs in hotels, restaurants, and things like that." Last year, volunteers counted more than 600 homeless people in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties. The final head-count won't be complete until Monday. Volunteers combed the camps and abandoned buildings of the tri-county area. Thursday they will walk the streets of downtown Wilmington to find those they didn't count Wednesday.

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If homelessness in the area is due to a "lack of affordable housing," why is the survey being conducted by the Southeastern Center for MENTAL HEALTH? Easy answer.... ...because homelessness has very little to do with a lack of affordable housing. Over 70% of the homeless are in that state because of substance abuse, mental illness, or both. Many of them enjoy the lifestyle: Total freedom, no bills, no responsibilities, no commitments.... Why do we have to keep hearing the same LIES about homelessness from groups that have a parochial financial interest in padding the numbers and covering up the true reasons people can't manage their own lives?
That's a mighty high horse you're on. Sometimes we need to get knocked off..... The majority of homeless folks are veterans and children. Take a look at the definative stats on kids in Foster Care. And if you check with the School system and other agencies, you'll find that there's a lot more kids homeless. Living in a Foster Home is usually not that great, and 20 - 25,000 kids age out every year. And there is no hiding that fact. There's also runaways, and throw aways. None of these kids could possibly manage thier lives. So keep rationalizing why you don't help people in need!
Feel free to check with the VA. 70% of homeless veterans have substance abuse and/or mental health problems. That said, the rate of mental illness among veterans is no higher than the incidence of mental problems in the general population. So the statistics on veterans actually tracks the fact that most chronic homeless are drunks, druggies, or loonies. As far as runaway youth, I'd advise all minors thinking of running away to consider that they might have to accept a definite reduction in their standard of living. They have to weigh all options, then make their choice. Either way, it's THEIR choice, and has nothing to do with me. I'm not Superman, but I am a vet. 99% of us came back, picked up life where we left it off, and went on to live reponsible, productive lives. If I can manage my life and raise two kids that now manage their lives quite well, why can't you? BTW, I give away more money every year than many people even make. What you don't understand is that I give it to people who truly ARE in need, not people who simply screw-up their life constantly.
Common: did you see the Showtime documentary, "Reversal of Fortune" by: Wayne Powers about the homeless guy in Calf ? They gave him $100,000.00 cash, offered a financial adviser etc. He was broke in no time and living on the streets again... Fascinating. He said he couldn't handle the day to day stress of paying bills and having responsibilities. Throwing money at problems helps nothing as this proves it. There are a TON of people in public housing and on welfare that would be homeless if they were not given a home because they do not have the mental capabilities to survive w/o step by step instructions.
Of course, a large percentage of the money we all give, sometimes because of intimidation, to organizations like the United Way is going to be siphoned off for frivolous patronage projects like surveys and studies. Some will be used for galas and cocktail parties-it's about how you raise money-not how you spend it! A portion will be used to move the headquarters for the "Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness" out to Shell Island where they won't be constantly bothered and put-upon by poor people. I do it myself and go out of my way to help people whenever afforded the situation. I hate poverty pimps. Making six figures under the guise of helping the downtrodden is much like claiming that God wants us to kill in His name-very distasteful, indeed. So my strong suggestion to everyone here in Wilmington is to bypass and leave out the cocktail set who are more often after kudos and social status (and good pay) rather than in it for the good work they can accomplish. Either do something yourself to help someone hold on to their home and their dignity or give generously directly to a charity or organization you have personally vetted. Don't waste your money by giving it to some lame- brain debs like the United Way who have next to no idea what their mission is or whom they serve. When Jesus said that "The poor will always be with you." He was gazing disappointedly at the Junior League and sorority-sister stay-at-home new rich-and organizations that put looking good ahead of doing good...and He was sighing.
Joe Citizen, your comments on the United Way were fierce and over the top. The United Way helps many organizations, and for many of the non-profits, it is their financial backbone. I don't know why you would attack this organization, but those comments are completely unwarranted. I hope that you do as you say, that is, help people whenever you can. Because attacking an organization that helps others shows poor character and is, in my opinion, classless. This cocktail set that you speak of may indeed exist, but it does not apply to the United Way nor does any of the statements you made. And furthermore, if this cocktail set does exist, why should it matter what the motives are? If people want to help others for social status, they are still helping others, not wasting their time criticizing others and making brainless generalizations. Your ficticious attacks on the staff of the United Way are vicious. These are people who get paid next to nothing yet work their hearts out for what they believe in-helping others. Again, your ridiculous name-calling shows your level of class. I don't know the reason for homelessness. All I do know is that it is a chronic problem, and the popular belief that they are degenerates and hopeless has been completely ineffective in resolving this problem. It makes people like you, who mindlessly generalize people, turn the other way and feel fine doing it. For future reference, try saving your vicious rhetoric for your shallow-minded cohorts.
Joe Citizen, your comments on the United Way were fierce and over the top. The United Way helps many organizations, and for many of the non-profits, it is their financial backbone. I don't know why you would attack this organization, but those comments are completely unwarranted. I hope that you do as you say, that is, help people whenever you can. Because attacking an organization that helps others shows poor character and is, in my opinion, classless. This cocktail set that you speak of may indeed exist, but it does not apply to the United Way nor does any of the statements you made. And furthermore, if this cocktail set does exist, why should it matter what the motives are? If people want to help others for social status, they are still helping others, not wasting their time criticizing others and making brainless generalizations. Your ficticious attacks on the staff of the United Way are vicious. These are people who get paid next to nothing yet work their hearts out for what they believe in-helping others. Again, your ridiculous name-calling shows your level of class. I don't know the reason for homelessness. All I do know is that it is a chronic problem, and the popular belief that they are degenerates and hopeless has been completely ineffective in resolving this problem. It makes people like you, who mindlessly generalize people, turn the other way and feel fine doing it. For future reference, try saving your vicious rhetoric for your shallow-minded cohorts.
"I don't know the reason for homelessness. All I do know is that it is a chronic problem, and the popular belief that they are degenerates and hopeless has been completely ineffective in resolving this problem." That's because you can't force people to be responsible, to manage their live effectively, and to avoid substance abuse when they're a drunk or druggie. You can't live their life for them. So instead, you want to coddle them, console them, and have responsible, productive people financially support them. Responsible, productive people are, however, getting sick and tired of carrying their load and the load of bums who can't manage their own lives as well. So you are going to see us "turning the other way" more and more often....and I, for one, feel fine about it. I'm not Superman. I'm an everyday, average person and if I can live my life responsibly, so can they. Conclusion? Let THEM solve THEIR problem.
If the Darwinian theory held true, they would soon die off because they couldn't stand the smell of each other enough to breed. Then the problem would be solved. But this isn't the case. Our screwed up government system creates these people as results of the failure of the system. I don't believe in forcing someone to do something that they do not want to do "for their own good." If they wanna pour hot coffee in their laps, so what! Their problem, they should not have ordered the HOT coffee. Someone will always want to live outside the system. There are those people that will always be this way. I don't think I should have to fork over my hard earned money to help someone that doesn't want to be helped.
If homelessness in the area is due to a "lack of affordable housing," why is the survey being conducted by the Southeastern Center for MENTAL HEALTH? Easy answer.... ...because homelessness has very little to do with a lack of affordable housing. Over 70% of the homeless are in that state because of substance abuse, mental illness, or both. Many of them enjoy the lifestyle: Total freedom, no bills, no responsibilities, no commitments.... Why do we have to keep hearing the same LIES about homelessness from groups that have a parochial financial interest in padding the numbers and covering up the true reasons people can't manage their own lives?
The story talked about volunteers. Who organized them, who paid for the use of Thalian hall, if form's were filled out, who paid for them. Sweet con job!